Is it a great time to rent or own.. We can do bothWe own several properties in Florida (rented) however we

Asked by Scott, Saint Louis, MO Sun Nov 18, 2007

want to buy a home in ST Louis

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Trisha Lee, Agent, Columbia, MO
Mon Nov 19, 2007
If you go to MSN Money and pull up the top 10 (ten) markets for purchasing property, St. Louis is one of them. They are undervalued compared to the rest of the nation with lots of opportunities for investment. The key question for renting versus owning is time (how long are you going to be in the property, remembering that time - for building equity - is your friend when it comes to real estate). Also, are we talking something that can later be used as investment property? If it is that might be another reason to buy rather than renting. Price, location and condition would be other factors. If you're buying a smaller, less expensive home in a good area that could be rehabbed while you live there, you can make money with sweat equity. If you're talking high priced new construction and don't plan to be in the area long, you might be better renting. Basically, the only way for your purchase to appreciate in value is to live there awhile (time) rehab (sweat equity) impove the property by adding on (changing the amenities from say 3 bed to 4, adding bath, etc.) or buying a smaller home in a rising neighborhood where it is pulled up by the larger, more expensive homes surrounding your purchase.

Good luck with your decision.
Trisha Lee, REMAX Boone Realty, Columbia, MO
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Randy Robins…, , Saint Louis, MO
Mon Nov 19, 2007

I would have to agree that now is an excellent time to buy a home in St. Louis. Dale was right on the money with her response. The fact that there is a significant amount of inventory on the market, coupled with low interest rates, makes this a prime buyers market. The other thing to keep in mind is that home prices in St. Louis are still signifcantly below national averages, and St. Louis continues to be one of the most affordable housing markets in the country.

If you are in a position where you can purchase, I would certainly encourage you to go ahead and do so (what else would you expect a Realtor to say?). Take your time, there is a lot of inventory, find an agent who will do their due dilligence and bring you the best possible deals. Make sure that your agent is an aggressive negotiator who understands the market and will do everything possible to find you the best deal.

If you have any further questions or would like to start with an email property search, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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Dale Weir, Agent, Chesterfield, MO
Sun Nov 18, 2007
This is a great time to buy in St Louis.

The market here is not the market that is on the coasts. On the coasts, they have a 24 month supply of homes, here we went from a 3-4 month supply to a 6 month supply. While it is a declining market here, there are many who think that we have either already hit botttom and started back up, or will do so soon. They cite the statistics that show that our median price is actually up over a year ago, and that we are selling more homes now that we did a year ago. Using the "non-scientific" method, I can tell you that my office is busier now than we were last summer. We're showing property and writing contracts, not just listing homes.

What I'm seeing is that sellers who started out overpriced and didn't fix up their homes so the buyer's went "wow" when they walked in the door last Spring are still on the market, but at this point, most have dropped their prices and taken care of the issues with their homes, so that now they are where they should be to sell and the sellers are very motivated. The sellers who do what their agents tell them, are selling (my last listing sold in 48 hours for a couple thousand under the list price). There are still some that haven't sold that should, but it's typically where there were a number of homes on the market in the same area that were listed at a lower price and had more "WOW" when they buyer walked in the door then their home had - sellers have to be very cognizant of what their competition is doing at the moment and they need a good agent who will help them to realistically and properly prepare their home for the market.

Builders are slow, and right now, they want to clear their inventory of homes out before the start of the new year, so they are offering VERY nice incentives to buyers. However, I went to a talk just last week with the head of the local Home Builder's Association and his comment was that while his company is offering huge incentives right now, once those are gone, they won't be back because he sees the market headed back up. ( With new construction, please keep in mind that the builder's rep is there to protect the builder, not to be an advocate for you and protect your interests. Using a Realtor doesn't cost you any more, but can save you money in the long run since Realtors know what to look for and what questions to ask when you are negotiating with builders)

The interest rates are still low and the mortgage companies are very competitive. They will meet or beat each other's best deals.

To sum it up, we've got some great homes on the market right now to choose from, prices are still low, there are some great loan packages out there at very competive rates and a good Realtor can get you to a successful closing before Christmas, if that's what you want to do. It's a GREAT time to buy in St Louis

Whether it's an investment property that you want to buy or a home for yourself, if you need any help, just give contact me and I'll help you find the home that you want and help you get to a successful closing on your time line.
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